My best friend’s wedding brought me to the city of Mangalore. Although this was not my first visit as this city was our weekend hangout place during college days at the Manipal. A fully fledged south Indian wedding is what I signed myself up for. I was received by my friend’s driver in a not so swanky car, who drove me to the Ginger Hotel Mangalore where my stay for already arranged for. Ginger always feels like home for me as I have spent more days staying in a Ginger than at home thanks to my frequent official travel. Clean, crisp and cozy, this place is the safest for a single woman traveler amongst all the other so called “Branded / Unbranded Budget hotels”.
I started to unpack only to find the perfect space to keep my crisply ironed, traditional Indian clothes in the cupboard. After I picked out my outfit for the evening, I hopped in for a quick shower. The first function I attended was the South Indian version of ‘sangeet’. I was looking forward to meeting my batch mates and we exchanged our business stories with each other. We went back to my room post the sangeet and called for some beverages and snacks which arrived in absolutely no time. Kudos to the service at the hotel! The time spent there threw me back to the days, when we all hung out in our college canteen and laughed over the pranks we played! It was as though no time had passed at all!
The next day, we decided to explore the city so we packed our backpacks and walked towards the market area. The Mangaloreans, or the ‘Mangi’, the hotel manager told me, as they preferred to be called, are soft spoken and extremely warm hearted. It couldn’t be exemplified any better by the courteous attitude the hotel staff showed us. Mangalore is a great place to shop for footwear and bags, but sadly they don’t encourage bargaining.
After walking four odd kilometers in the sun, picking up 6 pairs of footwear and 2 bags, my feet started to give in and I had an entire zoo running in my stomach. Although my friends wanted to shop more, I put my foot down and said it was time for lunch. I already tried the fluffy pillow like idlis for breakfast at the hotel, so now I wanted to dig into some meat. Just like every restaurant has a secret ingredient to their most famous dishes, Giri Manja’s is Mangalore’s best-kept secret. As I entered this house cum restaurant, the fragrance of the sizzling fish made my mouth water. We tried the ‘special’ that they had for day and might I add, the prawn masala is exceptional and so is the seer fish fry.
As we came back to the hotel post our heavenly lunch and little more of shopping. It was almost 8 in the evening and after an adventurous day, all I could think of was to sink into my bed. I couldn’t have enjoyed my bed more at that time owing to how I simply sank into it and also, into a deep sleep.
I woke up a with the intercom ring next morning only to realize that I was late for the wedding ceremony.So I took the quickest shower of my life, put on my traditional silk saree and attended the ceremony. In the evening we were in for a Mangalorean treat exclusively organized for us by our friend! The Pork Sorpotel, Chicken Indaz and the Fish Roe curry were to die for!
Of course I couldn’t stand after this extravagant lay out, so I decided to head back to my room and call it an early night. The next day, I decided to pamper myself to an Ayurvedic Spa session and spending time with my batch mates. We had to catch our respective flights and get back to our grind later that night, but we had one more thing left to do; explore the Mangalore beach.
We planned on experiencing the sunset at Someshwar beach which is approximately 9 kms from Mangalore which is known for its 100 ft. light tower that gives a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea. The hotel was kind enough to arrange a quick and cost effective transit to and from the beach. This beach is undiscovered by tourists and hence is considered to be virgin. Watching the sunset from Someshwar beach was probably the most awe-inspiring experience of my life. We took a group picture before we bid farewell to this beautiful city, and it was a perfect end to this trip.